Ciao, everyone! Here are the details for the second half of my trip to Italy. Happy reading!
Day 6: May 24
We left Florence early in the morning and took a train to Cinque Terre (which means “five lands” in Italian). Cinque Terre is made up of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village was filled with colorful houses and vineyards that create gorgeous views along the coastline.
Visitors can travel between the villages via the train or hiking. Because Cinque Terre is considered a national park, we needed to purchase a pass to hike. The pass also allowed unlimited train rides between the villages on the Levanto <–> La Spezia line.
Huyen and I stayed in the Ostello Corniglia hostel in Corniglia, but we took the train up to Monterosso and hiked to Vernazza, the most picturesque village of Cinque Terre. The two-hour hike had a lot of stairs but wasn’t strenuous. I also greatly enjoyed the views of the vineyards and ocean. We rewarded ourselves with delicious gelato after our hike…haha.
We went back to Monterosso to eat dinner at Ristorante Ciak, where I ordered my childhood favorite pasta – spaghetti bolognese. It was definitely the best I had ever had…and the portion was HUGE.
Day 7: May 25
The next morning, we took a train to Milan. After leaving our luggage in the Airbnb, we went grocery shopping so we could save money and eat healthier for the last few days of our trip.
Chinatown in Milan had good food and fun nightlife…at least based on the amount of people standing in front of the bars and restaurants there. I had a very light dinner of one Chinese pork bun. On our way back to the Airbnb, though, we walked past a dessert place and couldn’t resist its allure. I thoroughly enjoyed a bowl of grass jelly + green bean + lotus seed + boba dessert.
Day 8: May 26
We left Milan for a day to explore Verona and Venice. Verona, one of the most romantic cities in Italy due to its inspiration behind Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, had the feel of a quiet yet beautiful town. Both Huyen and I love the movie, Letters to Juliet, so naturally, we visited Juliet’s House. The building features the balcony where Romeo proclaimed his love to Juliet, and the courtyard is complete with Juliet’s statue and a wall covered in love letters.
After visiting Juliet’s House, we walked around the Piazza Delle Erbe. A market took place in the middle of the picturesque square. We sat on some steps and people-watched for a while.
Later on, we had lunch at Corte Farina. We shared an appetizer of palenta. I loved the intense but not overwhelming mushroom taste. My main course was the vegan pizza, which tasted refreshing but not amazing. That pizza I had at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples might have ruined all pizzas for me.
After lunch, we moved on to Venice. The City of Canals used boats as its main method of transportation. We explored the city and watched people riding in gondolas until Al Merca was open. This wine bar was bustling with people the moment it opened. I got a glass of Bellini, which tasted like peach juice and was so yummy.
Day 9: May 27
We were pretty tired after eight days of exploring, so our second to last day in Italy was really chill. We went to the Guastella Garden, a park where the people would go to sit and chat, sunbathe on the grass, read, or take a stroll. It was a great place to enjoy the moment and spend the day like the locals.
And because no day in Italy is complete without a treat, we got gelato from Vanilla Gelati. I got a cone with a scoop of the vegan hazelnut flavor and a scoop of the vegan pistachio flavor. Like most gelato I had in Italy, it was delicious and greatly appreciated on a hot day.
Day 10: May 28
Last day in Italy was dedicated to the Duomo in Milan. We purchased a combo ticket that allowed us access to the cathedral, the archaeological area under the cathedral, the terrace of the Duomo, and the museum across from the Duomo. My favorite part was definitely the terrace. The architecture of the cathedral was gorgeous, and so was the view from the top of the cathedral. It was a great way to end this trip.
Day 11: May 29
On May 29th, we left beautiful Italy and returned to LA. We took an Uber to the Milan Central train station to take the airport shuttle to catch our early flight with LOT Polish Airlines.
This trip to Italy was so much fun, and I’m glad I got to explore every aspect of the country, famous for its HISTORY, ART, and FOOD! I’m looking forward to my next international travel adventure, whenever and wherever that may be… I definitely caught the travel bug.